Sunday, March 2, 2014

Provencal Beef Stew

What better way to warm up than with tender beef stew? Especially with this dreadful winter we are experiencing here in NY state !! I think that if I don't see another snowflake in my entire life I'll be happy....Really we want Spring!!!!

Anyways...Since winter and it's bad weather are still around, might as well enjoy a nice and hearty plate of steamy stew, and this one became my family's favorite and I hope it will become yours too.

Provencal Beef Stew :

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 lbs stewing beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 x 400 g tins of canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 lbs new potatoes, (unpeeled), larger ones halved
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp pitted and chopped black olive
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme and rosemary

Preheat the oven to 350F

Pour the olive oil into a large casserole dish or ovenproof saucepan with a lid on a medium–high heat and, when hot, add the onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Fry for 6–8 minutes or until the onions are soft and lightly golden. 

Tip in the beef and stir in the dish or pan for 2–3 minutes to brown the meat, add the wine and boil until reduced, then in go the tomatoes, sugar and herbs. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 1 hour. 

After 1 hour remove from the oven, season with a little more salt, then stir in the potatoes, cover and return to the oven for another hour or until the beef is tender and the potatoes are cooked through. Stir in the capers, olives taste for seasoning and serve. 


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bread Pudding

Every week end for the last few years (well for at least 10 years!!!) breakfast was either french toast, pancakes or waffles, not too bad you'll tell me!! But it was time to add another friend to the list. This bread pudding is so easy to make and so delicious that I have been making it at least once a week. In this last one I used challah bread, but I made it with leftover brioche and with croissants as well. It's not the most friendly breakfast out there, but O so delicious!!

Bread pudding :

  • 10 thick slices of challah bread
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 cups of milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut your bread into small pieces into an 9 inch by 12 inch baking pan. Drizzle melted butter over bread. Sprinkle with raisins.

In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.

And enjoy either for breakfast or dessert!!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Banana and chocolate chips pancakes

Have you ever find yourself with a bunch of over ripe bananas because all of a sudden your kids are "tired" of eating bananas just after they asked for them????

I don't know for you, but for me as much as I love making and eating banana bread, it can get a little bit old after the 3rd one, even smeared with peanut butter or nutella!!! So I decided to try and make pancakes (I have kids that will eat pancakes at every meal!!) with all my lonely bananas.

So here I am, googling recipes for banana pancakes and all the recipes I found and liked were using sliced bananas on top of the pancakes, which my kids will never eat, what I wanted was pancakes with mashed bananas. So I decided to make my own recipe with what I knew about pancake making. So here goes...

Banana and chocolate chips pancakes

Ingredients :

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp. of sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/12 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 egg
2 tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients, add the chocolate chips.

In another bowl whisk the egg, add the mashed banana, the buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until just blended, don't worry if you have some lumps in your batter!!!

Using a ladle pour pancake batter in pools 2 inches away from one another, you can make them as big or small as you want...When pancakes have bubbles on top and dry around the edges flip then over, cook them for another minute or so. Repeat until no more batter is left.

And serve warm.

Hope you will enjoy them as much as we do here!!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Nutella and pecans brownies

Everybody who knows me, know that  I love, love, LOVE Nutella, and not just on bread or croissant or on a warn waffle where the Nutella warms up and...hmmm let's not go there!!! I’m very happy to share with you today’s recipe for Nutella brownies, cause you know Nutella makes me happy!

As you can see these brownies are more cakey that fudgy and that's the way I like my brownies, but they are oh so delicious you will not mind at all!!

Nutella and pecans brownies

3 eggs
100 gr - 3/4 cup of chopped dark or milk chocolate
100 gr - 3/4 cup of Nutella
150 gr - 10 tbsp of butter
100 gr - 3/4 cup  (less or more depending on your sweet tooth!!) of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
80 gr - 1/2 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder,  that's what makes it cake like, but you can omit it.
50 gr - 1/3 cup of chopped pecans

Preheat oven at 400F (200C)

Grease a 8x8 pan

Roast the pecans in a warm pan, keep an eye on them so they don't burn!!

In a bowl over a pan of simmering water (called bain-marie) melt the butter then add the Nutella, mix well. Take off the heat and add the chopped chocolate

In another bowl beat the eggs and sugar until white and frothy, add the chocolate mix the vanilla and the flour, sprinkle the pecans on top and gently mix.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20/25 min.

When cool cut into squares and using a little bit of Nutella as glue decorate the brownies with a half pecan.

You will not regret making these they are scrumptious!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Butternut squash soup.

I love fall. The change of color in leaves, the beautiful mums on every body's doorsteps, the cooler weather, and most especially the food! Apples, spinach, cauliflower and the variety of squashes are at their peaks right now.

Butternut squash is a comforting fall/winter soup and is one of my favorites. I love it's sweetness, it's velvety texture. I have found winter squash to be so versatile and can be use in risottos, soups, pasta sauce, and while searching the blogosphere found recipes of ice cream, crisps and even smoothies!!!!

You will need, one big leek, 3 garlic cloves smashed, 1 tbsp of fresh ginger chopped, one big butternut squash and 2 medium size potatoes.

Heat olive oil and a little knob of butter (I didn't say it was a skinny soup!!!) over medium heat, add leek, garlic and ginger and saute for 3/4 minutes.

Add squash and potatoes, salt and stir everything together,

cover with water, or half water half chicken (or vegetable) broth, bring to boil . Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until the potato and squash are tender when poked with a fork.

Using a blender, puree in batch until mixture is very smooth

A this stage if serving right away add in a dollop or 2 of heavy cream...

...and serve with a sprinkle of bacon bits (real ones, of course!!) and toasted bread.

Ingredients :

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
5 c. [1 1/2 lbs] of butternut squash peeled and cubed
2  potatoes, cubed
1 large leek, washed and sliced
3 garlic cloves smashed
1 tbsp of fresh ginger chopped
 salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 to 10 cups of water or half water, half chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you prefer)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpkin and chocolate chip muffins

Today for the first time I decided to try baking with pumpkin. I wasn't really sure if I was going to like anything made out of canned pumpkin, but those muffins are the tastiest muffins ever!!!! Moist, sweet just like they should be, and....they have chocolate, now what not to like!!!!! Can you believe that even my oldest son and my hubby tried them and liked them!!!!

  • 1 2/3 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup Sugar (I don't think it needs more, but you can adjust the quantity as your liking)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tb Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted or 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup of buttermilk for a lighter version
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper baking liners.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and pumpkin spice. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, and melted butter. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry mixture. Stir until just moistened (batter may be a little lumpy). Fold in chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into the muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Zucchini tart

One of the things I enjoy the most in the summer, besides the warm weather, vacation and lazy diners, is my vegetable garden. I planted it 2 years ago just to show the kids how vegetables grow, then I got hooked and just love to go in my garden and pick whatever is ready. I try to squeeze in as much plants as I can in my little patch, tomatoes, green beans, peas, carrots, eggplants, peppers, herbs and zucchinis.
This year we had so mamy zucchinis I didn't know what to do with them (beside giving some to friends). So I started looking for recipes on the web...well the choices are incredible !!!! Yummy recipes after yummy recipes. I also came up with few of my own and they are the one I would like to share with you.
this is the only picture I could find, the better ones are on my phone....and I am no geek tech!!!

You will need 2 medium size zucchinis sliced, 2 small tomatoes (you can use 1 small can of diced tomatoes) 1 small chopped onion, 2 garlic gloves minced and half a red pepper sliced.

Fry everything in 2 tbsp of olive oil until the vegetables are lightly colored, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile beat together 3 eggs with salt and pepper,

add the vegetables,

and fresh mozzarella and chopped fresh basil, mix everything carefully.

Line a pan (I used a quiche pan) with parchement paper top with your favorite dough, line again with parchment paper, and cover the bottom with pie weighs (I use chickpeas). Bake at 375F until the dough looks firm and dry about 15 minutes.

Remove the weight and parchment and continue baling for another 10 minutes. Pour all that loveliness into the dough line pie pan. Bake until the cheese is melting and the egg mixture is cooked.

Enjoy your tart with a nice salad in summer or a warm soup in winter!!

Recipe :

2 medium size zucchini sliced
1 small onion chopped
2 small tomatoes chopped
Half a red pepper sliced
2 garlic cloves minced
3 eggs
3/4 cup (or more if you like) of diced mozzarella
8 to 10 basil leaves (I like a lot of basil!!!!)
Salt and pepper